Search - Thomas Newman, Various Artists :: War

Thomas Newman, Various Artists
Genres: R&B, Rock, Soundtracks
  •  Track Listings (21) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Thomas Newman, Various Artists
Title: War
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 3
Label: Mca
Release Date: 11/15/1994
Genres: R&B, Rock, Soundtracks
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 008811116026, 008811116040

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CD Reviews

Little known, but one of the best
architune | timbuk-four, ohio | 03/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"i dont know why they don't have it credited as such, by the great Thomas Newman is the composer of the instrumental portions of this soundtrack. every track is unique, and sounds like nothing else. Newman is in my mind, one of the greatest film score composers we have because from film to film, his work is barely recognizeable, revealing his ability to adapt and honor the genre and feeling of each movie separately from one another. everyone can recognize John Williams, yes, but is that a good thing? im not knocking Williams, he's great, but give this a listen and see what you think. especially "juliette" and "the war". the latter in particular is a sweeping, moving peice of magic that im sure would please anyone, even if you haven't seen the movie, and if you have, it makes it that much better."
Thomas Newman with Yvonne Williams... wonderful!
Catherine S. Todd | Oxford NC, USA | 03/31/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I just heard a cut from this marvelous soundtrack on a video on YouTube called "The War Soundtrack (1994) - Gone Again." Immediately had to order the CD to find out who did the beautiful background vocals here, since there's no song list on Amazon. What a gorgeous sound! Newman does it every time. Why didn't we know about this soundtrack before? Can't wait to hear the rest.

Thomas Newman never misses, and I read that he has yet to receive an Academy Award. Just like Paul Newman and all the "greats" that the Academy for some reason ignores as if they have "too much recognition already." But Thomas' day is coming. He is one of the greatest composers of our time, if not the greatest. We are so lucky to be living in the era that gets first dibs on Newman's work!

Update: I found the name of the wonderful vocalist, Yvonne Williams, who sings on the tracks "Juliette" and "Angel Pen." Makes the entire CD for me. Who is this wonderful singer, working with Thomas Newman, the finest composer of our time? I would like to find out more about her, and find other music she has participated in. I believe she also graced the soundtrack of "Fried Green Tomatoes" (see below).

There's an excellent review of this CD at soundtrack-express (dot) com. Here's part of it:

"It seems somehow ironic that the subject of this film is the very thing that sinks it. Not only does it feature Kevin Costner doing some fine acting, along with an equally impressive and very young Elijah Wood (he of the Bagginses), but it has all the ingredients for a lovely movie about small town life and the way kids interact. However, Costner's Vietnam veteran is against violence after the horrors of war and so opposes any kind of physical action to prevent his kids being bullied. The result is a film that becomes almost intolerably preachy, far too often. A shame really. A cynical reviewer of the film suggested that the selection of period songs were inspired by their use and popularity on disc in Forrest Gump, quite possibly true, but they are a good selection and thoughtfully programmed together so as not to interrupt Thomas Newman's often lovely score.

The War is one of those Newman scores that mixes warm and gentle strings with his more austere and inventive side. The main theme, as featured in the Main Title is a pleasing string tune, not one of his most memorable, but quite lovely, along the same lines as The Shawshank Redemption or Little Women, although rather more delicate; Newman seems almost too careful to ensure his melody isn't too intrusive. As with his earlier score to Fried Green Tomatoes for director Jon Avnet, Newman briefly employs a female vocalist (Yvonne Williams) who hums engagingly over the opening track, Juliette. Williams' appearance is disappointingly fleeting, only recurring for the final track, Angel Pen. [She also sings on "Gone Again."] A good number of less traditional instrumentalists are used elsewhere to typically unusual effect, notably a didgeridoo, something that sounds like a deeper version of a banjo (ideal for the hill billy family that Costner and his family are forced to deal with) and a variety of other curious instruments, unfortunately not mentioned in the liner note credits and difficult to determine by ear.

The aforementioned Angel Pen makes for a wonderfully cathartic finale cue as Newman brings his main theme back to the fore in counterpoint to Williams' vocals, a very memorable way to conclude. However, the handful of more melodic cues rather overshadow the more eclectic and more inventive cues, many of which won't be to everyone's taste. They aren't entirely unpalatable, but are certainly harder to enjoy. Newman clearly wanted a striking contrast between the noble sentiments of the protagonist and some more regionally influenced, but rather non-melodic ideas for Junkyard Billy and his clan. It could be argued that it makes the score a little uneven, but the transitions are surprisingly smooth, even if the result is a score that really comes to life during the orchestral sequences and will likely leave most listeners wanting more of that and a little less in the way of didgeridoos and banjos."

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